An interactive multimedia performance involving textiles, dance, music and projected image. The goal of this interdisciplinary project was to interpret South Asian cultural identity, tradition and memory through the digital lens.
Phulkari traces the life of a Punjabi style of weaving and textile production as a metaphor for one’s somatic journey through migration, displacement, and belonging. The performance mediates and interprets tradition and memory through performance technology, mapping the language of phulkari textiles onto music, movement, and projections. As the shawl travels from village India to Punjabi diasporic communities throughout UK and North America, its meaning shifts and is lost -- much like the traditional language and knowledge that is intertwined with it. Rather than essentializing and reifying Punjabi culture, this work treats this South Asian cultural artefact from a diasporic point of view. As such, the aesthetics draw as much from North Indian classical music and phulkari textile motifs as from contemporary dance, jazz, and electronic and electroacoustic music. This performance weaves together tradition and its continual transformation over time and space, creating a multimodal manifestation of the past, present and future. Five movements comprise of the work:
1. Coming Together